The Mass Effect franchise is set to grace current-gen consoles next year with something a little different in Mass Effect: Andromeda. The book on original trilogy hero Commander Shepard is finally closed and Andromeda puts players in the shoes of a new protagonist with a fresh start and a new mission - exploring a new galaxy beyond the familiar Milky Way and the threat that was the Reapers.
Outside of the teases the Mass Effect: Adromeda E3 2015 trailer offered us, is known about the game. Only bits of the story and an announcement of the game engine were discussed in an official capacity after E3 2015. A completely new area is up for exploration this time around with a new team of adventurers to live, work, and love at your back, all the while using the Frostbite engine (Battlefield, Star Wars: Battlefront) and what is presumably similar gameplay to the earlier entries of the franchise. That changed earlier today when potentially revealing details for the upcoming title were leaked online, teasing fans on what new gameplay features Mass Effect: Andromeda may include.
The new info comes from YouTuber AntarticWildlife and covers a variety of new items including new bits of gameplay and story hints, including details on one of the antagonists and an unnamed race that looks to be the main enemy type of Andromeda.
Redditor DealWithTheC-12 listed the main highlights to recap:
- 2 Squad mates as before, a human blonde and a krogan mentioned
- All squad mates have jetpacks which come into play in exploration
- Omnitool has more functionality, for example a combat shield
- Greater detail in character facial features and models
- Destructible covers (Yay Frostbite!)
- Completely different ship (I take it as a step away from the frigate sized ship that we saw in Normandy and towards a larger ship, perhaps the one seen here )
- Hints at Mako customization
- 'Pathfinder quarters' section in the ship
- Main character is referred to as 'the pathfinder'
- Story revolves around finding a new home for humanity and other races
- New ship travel system (Instead of the old galaxy map) where you manually fly the ship
- Enemies (the main opposing force I assume) are bipedal cross between Vorcha and Collectors
- The (non-human) enemies drop into combat from Cerberus ships (I would assume a placeholder, but if it's not then it gets interesting)
- One of the antagonists is a human soldier with armor similar to yours but without N7 insignia
In Mass Effect: Andromeda, players take on the role of an unnamed protagonist, referred to as “the Pathfinder,” and like the original trilogy, play alongside two squad members. Whether or not the party size is locked to two characters remains to be seen, but only two allies were described - “a petite, buxom, blonde woman. And another is a krogan that we saw in the E3 trailer.” Jetpacks (also seen in the official trailer) are also going to be standard on each squad member and the omni-tool will serve as more than a simple melee attack tool as in Mass Effect 3. The use of the Frostbite engine allows for destructible environments as cover utilized by both the player’s squad and enemies will no longer be permanent.
The story behind Mass Effect: Andromeda revolves around the Pathfinder finding a new home for humanity and the other races featured in the series. Whether this story runs parallel to the rest of the franchise and the Pathfinder was sent to find new planets due to the impending Reaper harvest remains to be seen. Currently, the main enemy race looks like a cross between the Collectors and Vorcha, and drop in from Cerberus dropships - maybe the Pathfinder may not be that distances from Shepard’s fight after all.
Other notable highlights, some of which we already knew, include the much-maligned Mako (which we sort of love) will finally make its return too, controlled by the player once again. There are hints that the vehicle could be customizable. New to the franchise however, the player ship may actually be flyable as well, replacing the previous point-and-click fast-travel system in the form of a galactic map.
With a completely new setting, new mission, and new characters to go along with hopefully improved gameplay mechanics, Andromeda just might wash out the bad taste that Mass Effect 3’s controversial ending left in the mouth of fans.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is planned for a Holiday 2016 release.